I’ve been thinking about scarcity and abundance this week, and wanted to share some of those thoughts!
To start, I’ve been slowly listening through Bible Project’s 15 hour course about Genesis 1. One thing I noticed come up a few times is the idea that, in the creation narrative on page 1 of the Bible, Elohim forms creation with a goal of setting up a place for humanity to thrive.
He couldn’t call creation "very good" until humanity was given abundant food, meaningful work, a commission to have kids and raise families, and a purpose in the form of the commission to steward the world and all its inhabitants.
Our universe was created to be one of abundance — To be a place where there’s more than enough… for you, for me, for our families, for our peoples, and for everyone.
But, humanity’s collective experience of the world has obviously been muuuch different than that (which Genesis 3 starts to give an explanation for). We see that manifest in so many ways today. As one potent example, there are still more than a billion people living off of less than $1 per day.
The first thing every introduction to economics class teaches is scarcity — that there is limited “stuff” and unlimited “want”.
There clearly isn’t “enough”… let alone abundance for all of humanity to thrive…
Except, that is a LIE!
We do have enough.
We actually have more than enough.
In the United States alone, more than 130 billion meals worth of perfectly good food gets thrown out as waste every year.
There are plenty of examples of families who grow over 6,000 pounds (2,700 kg) of food on every year on just ⅒ of an acre of land. And there are billions of acres of unused or underused land around the world where the same thing could be done.
We do have abundance. Or, at least, access to it.
And yet, 25,000 people still die from hunger every single day.
That means, much like John Green points out about the 1,500,000 people who die from curable Tuberculosis every year, people in 2023 don’t die from starvation or hunger; they die from injustice.
People in 2023 don’t die from starvation or hunger; they die from injustice.
To paraphrase a Mr. Money Mustache quote I read this week, “We have created a dog-eat-dog world in the middle of a very comfortable and and productive dog food factory.”
It doesn’t need to be that way.
Let’s do better.